Entanglements in Refugee and Migration Law: Celebrating forty years of the Nordic Asylum Law Seminar

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This leading conference for scholars, practitioners, and civil society in the Nordic region focusing on issues of migration and refugee law will bring together expertise to address the significant entanglement of refugee and migration law within adjacent fields of international and national law. 


The normative landscape of both international and Nordic refugee law has changed considerably since the first Nordic Asylum Law Seminar was held in Bergen in 1982. What was once a relatively self-contained legal field organised around state-centric paradigms is today transformed into a vast normative web, heavily influenced by developments in other legal regimes. From the “human rights turn” to EU integration, these types of interactions have not only reshaped international refugee law and practice, but often also deeply impacted the corresponding regimes, as evidenced by recent debates on e.g. the uptake of asylum and migration cases by the European Court of Human Rights and the UN treaty bodies. Governmental policies to deter or manage asylum-seekers and refugees have similarly prompted new and often difficult questions at the interface between international refugee and human rights law and domestic legislation, such as integration law, social law, security law, health law and criminal law, to name but a few. Meanwhile, expanding efforts to litigate refugee and migrant rights have seen both practitioners and scholars pursue new avenues, including international criminal law, anti-discrimination law, tort law and public procurement law.

In celebration of forty years of the Nordic Asylum Law Seminar, we invite scholars and practitioners to explore legal questions emerging at the interfaces between international refugee and migration law and other legal regimes, between different legal practices in the Nordics and beyond, and between refugee/migration law and external processes, including politics, economics and growing digitalisation.



Click here to register: https://eventsignup.ku.dk/nals/signup 

Please register no later than 14th of May.



Participation without dinner: 600 DKK

Participation with dinner: 1100 DKK




Click here to open the programme (PDF).

For questions concerning the programme, please contact Dr William Hamilton Byrne: william.hamilton.byrne@jur.ku.dk.

For practical matters contact Michelle Kjærulff: michelle.kjaerulff@jur.ku.dk  



In particular, we welcome papers reflecting on the systemic effects of these type of entanglements and their temporal development over the past 40 years. Historically, the Nordic region has been a frontrunner on international refugee and migration law; amongst the first countries to ratify the 1951 Refugee Convention, and pioneering free movement in the Nordic region since 1954 and later through Schengen. During past decades, however, both refugee rights and free movement have come under pressure due to more restrictive practices and legislation. Moreover, Nordic countries may be seen to develop new policies on e.g. third country asylum processing, return/cessation and digital tools in the asylum/migration domain, which themselves raise difficult questions in relation to international law, and in particular vulnerable groups of refugees and migrants.


The conference invites papers focusing on these and other issues of refugee and migration law, with an encouraged focus on the Nordic countries.

In particular, we call for presentations addressing the following thematic focus areas (‘TF’)



Practical matters 

The conference invites submissions of abstracts addressing the thematic focus of not more than 350 words. Please indicate which thematic focus you will apply to (TF#, or PW# for PhD workshop), and also provide a short bio of not more than 100 words that addresses your title and relevant affiliations.

The organizing committee will endeavor to provide responses to submissions March 31, 2023.

The main programme of the conference will take place Tuesday-Wednesday, 23-24 May. A half-day PhD workshop will be organised on 22 May. Please specify in your submission if you intend to apply for the PhD workshop.

The conference is held at the University of Copenhagen South Campus, Karen Blixens Plads 16, Copenhagen S. Participants are expected to cover their own travel and accommodation expenses. Lunch and refreshments will be provided free of charge during the conference, and a conference dinner organised on 23 May.

Submit call for papers

To submit your call for paper please click here  - registration will close Tuesday 28 February at 1PM (CEST)